Kellie Leitch’s policies should be criticized and questioned. Demonizing her for them, however, is asinine.

Kellie Leitch has been heavily criticized by the Canadian media due to her recently released immigration policies. The CBC and Maclean’s Magazine, both rooted in the left, have labeled her as a racist for her “radical” views on immigration and the ‘Canadian identity’. However, what Leitch is proposing may not actually be that radical.

Leitch has made protecting “Canadian values” the cornerstone of her candidacy in the Conservative leadership race. In her own words, she plans to protect these values through a “tight screening process”, along with face-to-face interviews for every individual attempting to enter Canada. Those who have criticized her positions do so out of fear that these policies will target immigrants of Islamic and Middle Eastern origin. However, Leitch defended herself from the accusation that she is targeting Muslim or Middle Eastern immigrants specifically by saying “Let me be frank, Canadians value freedom of religion. Full stop. That includes all religions. Full stop”.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Leitch personally regarding her immigration policies at a meet-and-greet put on by my riding’s Conservative Association. She strongly affirmed to me that Muslims make a significant contribution to our multicultural society, and assured me that Muslim applicants would not be refused solely because of their religion. Instead, these interviews are to ensure that the applicant shares the Canadian values of equality, patriotism, fairness, and tolerance. Leitch’s goal of these interviews is to combat the entrance of extremist views into Canada, such as those rooted in Sharia Law. More specifically, these interviews are to protect Canada from allowing the entrance of individuals that do not believe in the equality of both genders, and those not tolerant of communities such as LGBT Canadians.

But some of the criticism for Leitch’s policies are about the phrase ‘Canadian Values’ itself. “But what are Canadian values?”, some Canadians have been asking. Well, according to a 2011 Environics survey commissioned by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, almost 97% of settled Canadians said adoption of “gender equality” and “tolerance of others” are primary Canadian values. So, the claim being made by critics of Leitch, that there are no such thing as Canadian values, does not hold up.

In my own personal opinion, is it truly that horrible to have a Canadian sit down with potential immigrants, and ask them about their values? Leitch’s plan, although being made out to be, is not some “radicalized, racist” plot. A recent Forum Research Inc. poll done by the Toronto Star shows that 67% of all Canadians agree immigrants should indeed be screened for “anti-Canadian values”.

Although you may disagree with her policies, merely dismissing them as racist is irresponsible, insulting, and unfair.

From the viewpoint of Modern Conservative Journal, Kellie Leitch’s policies should be criticized and questioned. Demonizing her, however, is asinine.

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